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February 3, 2010
Another Obama snub of our European allies
I guess Obama is not the leader they thought he was.
Recall Obama's first trip to Europe as a candidate where leaders fawned over him as if he was, well, the rock star he set himself up to be. Even his first European trip saw leaders eager to be seen with him, to be photographed with him.
Now, according to this Steven Erlanger piece in the New York Times, a presidential snub of an all European conference in May is showing European leaders that the US is simply no longer a reliable partner - and that Obama wants it that way:
President Obama's decision to skip a United States-European Union summit meeting scheduled for Madrid in May has predictably upset European officials, who suggested Tuesday that the summit meeting itself would now be postponed, possibly to the autumn. In addition to the palpable sense of insult among European officials, there is a growing concern that Europe is being taken for granted and losing importance in American eyes compared with the rise of a newly truculent China...The Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who is scheduled to arrive in Washington this week on a visit, was described as angry and embarrassed, and European officials said there was a set of high-level diplomatic exchanges overnight. The White House explained the decision as a matter of scheduling, insisting that the May visit to Europe was never on the president's agenda, so it could not be said to have been canceled.
By the time Obama is through, he is going have our European allies fondly recalling the good old days when George Bush was president.